Reporter 458, 6 November 2000

Midwife wins award

Valerie Simmons, a midwife at York District Hospital studying for her Masters in Health Service Studies at the Nuffield Institute, is to receive a national nursing scholarship award tomorrow (November 7).

Ms Simmons has been researching the underlying causes of inconsistent advice on breast-feeding given by healthcare professionals to new mothers, so that this problem can be better addressed by healthcare policy. The project has won a Smith & Nephew Foundation research award.

Ms Simmons said: "There is now no doubt that breastfeeding provides great health benefits to both the infant and mother, and hence for the NHS and the country as a whole.

"Although 68 percent of all mothers in the UK commence breastfeeding, only 44 percent are still breastfeeding at six weeks. This study sets out to understand why there is still a gap between theory and practice."

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